What is Penetration Testing and Its Stages

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Penetration testing, known as a pen test, is a security exercise where a cyber-security expert attempts to find and exploit vulnerabilities in a computer system. This simulated attack aims to identify any weak spots in a system’s defenses that attackers could take advantage of.

With the help of Penetration testing, we can secure our system and our organization because there are many tools that provide some kind of warning alerts, etc.

Stage of Penetration Testing

  • Planning and reconnaissance
  • Scanning
  • Vulnerability Assessment
  • Exploitation
  • Analysis /Reporting

  1. Planning and reconnaissance: In the first step, the tester gathers all information from the target system where they perform a pen test of the report including networking, Operating System, user accounts, applications, and other relevant information here to gather the information we can use both methods active and passive.
  2. Scanning: In this stage, we perform various scanning tools and check some related to the network like open ports,.and network traffic because these things are the entry point of the attackers.
  3. Vulnerability Assessment: In this phase, the tester used all data from the first and second phases to identify potential vulnerabilities and determine whether they could be exploited. when finding any risk at this stage, pen testers have many resources to turn like NVD (National Vulnerability Database) which is a repository of vulnerability management data that is published in the CVE (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures )database.
  4. Exploitation: When any vulnerability is identified, the pen tester attempt to access the target system and exploit the identified vulnerabilities for that they used tools like Metasploit, Nmap, etc.
  5. Analysis /Reporting: In this phase, the tester prepares a report documenting the penetration test’s findings. This report helps to fix any vulnerabilities found in the system and improve the organization’s security also. The report, it will show what types of vulnerabilities find and how an organization can remediate its security risks.
Some famous Penetration Testing Tools

There are many more Penetration testing tools available in the market to check different things.

Types Of Penetration Testing

  • Open-box pen test 
  • Closed-box pen test
  • External Pen test
  • Internal pen test
  1. Open-box Pen test: In this test, some information is given to the user who performs the pen test on the system.
  2. Closed-box pen test: This test is known as a single-blind test there is no prior knowledge of the system
  3. External Pen test: In this test the user goes against the company’s external technology like their website and external network. It means the user attack from a remote location and performs the test.
  4. Internal pen test: Here the user uses the internal company network and performs a pen test.

The main purpose of this testing is to determine how we can secure our system as well as our company also because there are many ways in the world that attackers can attack your application, database, network, etc.

Written by 

Harshit Gupta is a Software Consultant at knoldus Inc having few year experience in DevOps . He always eager to learn new technology and helping to others .